Trump To Do Sit Down With Tucker
Donald Trump will not be gracing the stage after all at next week's Republican presidential primary debate.
According to sources close to the former president, Trump will now sit down for an interview with conservative Tucker Carlson instead. The New York Times reported Friday of the unprecedented move.
Trump's participation in the debate had been asked for by Fox News executives on the behalf of the Republican National Committee during a dinner held earlier this month. The updated rules for the GOP's 2024 debates would require any participants to sign a pledge to support the party's eventual nominee, no matter who it may be.
The President's decision not to attend the Milwaukee, Wisconsin event seems to be in line with what he told Fox Business Network host Lou Dobbs last week: "I don't want to sign a pledge, because there are three or four people that I wouldn't support for president."
Trump's shunning of panel events is nothing new; during his 2016 presidential campaign, he opted out of a Fox News debate in January.
The Trump-Carlson team-up, however, has been raising both eyebrows and concerns in the political world. Trump will likely steal some of the spotlight away from the debate and further monopolize conservative media, which he holds dear.
The Daily Mail claims that Carlson was at Trump's golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey this week, though his presence is yet to be officially confirmed.
The former president is leading the polls in both early primary states and nationally, remaining well ahead of his competition by double digits.
New England radio host Howie Carr tweeted with approval, saying: "What a great move by Trump & by Tucker! Bleep the Fox Rinos."
What a great move by Trump & by Tucker!
Bleep the Fox RINO's.
Trump Plans to Skip G.O.P. Debate for Interview With Tucker Carlson https://t.co/rLM9l0iEHO
— Howie Carr (@HowieCarrShow) August 18, 2023
New York Times reporter Jonathan Swan originally credited with breaking the news on the paper also tweeted: "To state the obvious: this would be a major affront to Fox News and to the RNC."
News w @maggieNYT: In the past 24 hours, Trump has told people close to him that he has made up his mind and will skip the debate. He plans to sit for an online interview with Tucker Carlson. https://t.co/iReEpzGstf
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) August 18, 2023
Trump's behavior and Carlson's coverage of it will be closely monitored by news outlets and consumers alike as the former approaches ever closer to a potential White House run.